There is no question that Windows Home Server provides a lot of functionality right out of the box, but that doesn't mean that you have to be satisfied with the status quo. In fact, many of the chapters in this book have show you how to get additional functionality from your Home Server by adding third-party software to provide such things as e-mail, enhanced media streaming with transcoding, and more.
Why not? You don't expect a desktop computer to be limited to the software that comes bundled with it. You expect to be able to install any number of software programs to enhance its usefulness. You should expect the same from a server platform, even a headless box like Windows Home Server.
The designers of Windows Home Server recognized the fact that users will want to be able to do more than the designers were able to include. At the same time, they didn't want users to have to violate the mandate that the server be manageable from the Console as much as possible. Their solution was to create the add-in capability, which allows you to install, remove, configure, and control server enhancements, all from inside the Windows Home Server Console.
In this chapter, we'll provide you with an overview of just what constitutes an add-in, and we'll show you a few of the more popular ones so that you can get a feel for the kinds of things ...